These Are The Counties In The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI Metro Area Where COVID-19 Is Growing The Fastest

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After adding over 4,375,000 new cases throughout the last week, the U.S. now has more than 71.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been more than 860,000 COVID-19-related deaths — the highest death toll of any country.

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New cases continue to rise at a faster rate. In the past week, there were an average of 235.2 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 Americans — an increase from the week prior, when there were an average of 221.3 daily new coronavirus cases per 100,000 people.

While COVID-19 has spread to nearly every part of the country, cities continue to be the sites of major outbreaks. Experts agree that the virus is more likely to spread in group settings where large numbers of people routinely have close contact with one another, such as colleges, nursing homes, bars, and restaurants. Metropolitan areas with a high degree of connectivity between neighborhoods and a large population may be particularly at-risk.

Find out what’s happening in Chicago with free, real-time updates from Patch.

The Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, metro area consists of Cook County, DuPage County, Lake County, and 11 other counties. In the past week, there were an average of 185.1 new coronavirus cases every day per 100,000 Chicago residents, less than the national figure. The metro area’s average daily case growth in the most recent week is a decrease from the week prior, when there was an average of 192.6 daily new cases per 100,000 Chicago residents.

The spread of coronavirus depends on a variety of factors and can vary even between neighboring counties. Within the Chicago-Naperville-Elgin metro area, COVID-19 is growing the fastest in Kenosha County, Wisconsin. There were an average of 393.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in Kenosha County during the past week, the most of the 14 counties in Chicago with available data.

Case growth in the Chicago metro area varies widely at the county level. In Lake County, for example, there were an average of 109.9 new cases per day per 100,000 residents in the past week — the least of any county in Chicago and far more than the case growth rate in Kenosha County.

While Kenosha County is driving the growth of COVID-19 in the Chicago area, it does not have the highest incidence of cases overall. As of January 27, there were a total of 24,727.6 confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in Kenosha County, the second most of the 14 counties in the metro area. For comparison, the U.S. has so far reported 22,116.8 cases per 100,000 Americans nationwide.

The pandemic has led to the closure of thousands of consumer-facing businesses around the country. These changes have led to widespread job loss and record unemployment. In Kenosha County, unemployment peaked at 14.9% in April 2020. As of June 2021, the county’s unemployment rate was 5.3%.

To determine the county in every metropolitan area where COVID-19 is growing the fastest, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed data from state and local health departments. We ranked counties according to the average number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in the seven days ending January 27. To estimate the incidence of COVID-19 at the metropolitan level, we aggregated data up from the county level using boundary definitions from the U.S. Census Bureau. Population data used to adjust case and death totals came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey and are five-year estimates. Unemployment data is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is not seasonally adjusted.

These are all the counties in Illinois where COVID-19 is slowing (and where it’s still getting worse).

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This story was originally published by 24/7 Wall St., a news organization that produces real-time business commentary and data-driven reporting for state and local markets across the country.

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